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Are you a fan of Daylight Savings time? I am not. Where I live, it means light until close to 9pm in the summer. Nobody needs daylight at 9pm. Especially parents who want their kids to go to bed. And it happens so early in the year! We have two-and-a-half months of school left, and evening daylight says to children, let’s stay up…things are happening…
And don’t get me started on the dark mornings.
But whether I like it or not, it is happening this weekend. Spring forward…lose an hour…gain a sleepy child.
To capitalize on the extra attention on the clock, I thought I would bring you a little classical music lesson you can tie into any clock talk you might have this week.
Joseph Haydn is known as the Father of the Symphony. He basically invented the entire genre. And he wrote 104 of them. Considering most symphonies have multiple movements (parts) and can last as long as an hour, that basically means he wrote a whole lotta music.
Though he was born in Austria, he spent his latter years in London and wrote a whole series of symphonies that became known as — wait for it — The London Symphonies. Symphony 101 was the 9th of the 12 London symphonies and has a quirky little second movement, which came to be known as The Clock. You can hear how the instruments mimic a ticking sound – fun!
I linked the video to start at 8:25, which is the beginning of the second movement (where the piece gets it’s name).
Now here’s a funny story.
I was thinking about writing this post one day and picturing Haydn sauntering around London town and had this huge a-ha moment that The Clock MUST have been inspired by London’s famous Big Ben. I mean…London…music called THE CLOCK…it made perfect sense.
So I googled the dates to confirm Big Ben existed when Haydn was there.
The Clock was written around 1793 and Big Ben’s construction began in 1858. Oh well. It would have been a good story.
No matter, it is still a great piece and a fun one for kids. I always like to attach music to very tangible things when I am trying to get my students really interested. This is a great one (though your children might need a little explanation about how clocks can actually make a ticking sound. Not super common anymore!).
Subject Integration Ideas
This is an obvious piece for subject integration, especially at the pre-school/early education ages when children are learning to tell time.
How about some games and crafts?
Books are always great. Here are some suggestions:
- About Haydn (a different symphony though)
- Super cute rhyming story
- Learning to tell time
- Great for preschoolers
Older students can enjoy the piece while learning about time as well. This is an interesting article about how railroad schedules required time to be standardized in the 1800s – pretty interesting stuff!
Enjoy this fun piece!
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